Dave Upthegrove has a long record of public service and, as the District 5 representative on the Metropolitan King County Council, he has focused on building relationships and delivering results for his constituents. Voters should return him for another term.

District 5 — which includes Burien, Des Moines, Kent, Normandy Park, Renton, SeaTac and Tukwila — is the most ethnically and economically diverse in the county. Upthegrove understands and appreciates the need to be inclusive.

Seattle Times editorial board endorsements: Nov. 2, 2021, general election

“Whoever’s in office has a responsibility to represent everyone, and I take that very seriously,” Upthegrove said. “I recognize I’m a dorky white guy in a very diverse district, and because of that I bring an incredible intentionality to that work.”

That means paying attention and following through on a host of issues facing the community, including supporting minority entrepreneurs. Upthegrove points to how displacement of East African small businesses in 2019 led to the creation of a commercial affordability pilot program that supported the Mall of Africa, a new small business hub in SeaTac. Upthegrove has secured additional funding to extend and expand that program.

The incumbent is also a strong supporter of sound environmental policies to fight climate change, smart police reform and diversion programs, as well as giving courts and prosecutors the resources to do their jobs.

He brings a thoughtful and balanced approach to his work on the Council’s Budget and Fiscal Management Committee, Housing and Human Services Committee, Mobility and Environment Committee and as chair of the Regional Transit Committee and the King County Flood Control District.

Upthegrove’s challenger, Shukri Olow, is a youth development lead with the county’s Best Starts for Kids initiative and a formidable opponent. Even as she decries that she’s no politician, it’s clear she has a future in elected office. But in this race, she falls short of justifying why voters should choose her over the incumbent.

Upthegrove remains the best candidate for District 5.